Thread: 30D or E-510
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Old May 15, 2007, 4:19 AM   #5
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On the 30D you must multiply the actual focal length of the lens by 1.6 to give a 35mm equivalent focal length.

So the 17-85 IS is precisely the lens designed to cover the same equivalent focal length as the 28-135 was on a 35mm film camera. On the 30D you have to multiply so the 28-135 gives an 35EFL of 45-216. That IMO is not nearly wide enough for your intended use.

The quoted focal length on your P&S is also 35mm equivalent, the actual focal length is probably something like 5mm-11mm.

The 17-85 is a pretty decent lens. Has good IS, a nice focal length range, good fast & quiet focus motor, pretty sharp on the telephoto end even opened up and plenty sharp stopped down at the wide end (most of the time you use a wide-angle stopped down to get good depth-of-field). It's a nice lens, but there are now good alternatives (without IS) from Tamron and Sigma.

However for decent indoor work you will need either a flashgun or a fast prime lens. Or preferably both.

My recommendation for you if you can afford it is as follows:

1. Canon 30D body only.

2. Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens. (Or Canon EF-S 17-85 IS USM).

3. Canon 430 EX flashgun. (With Stofen diffuser.)

4. Sigma 30mm f1.4 EX HSM lens. (Or Canon EF 28mm f1.8 USM).

Some people recoil in horror at the prospect of using flash with children, but flash is the best single way to control lighting indoors if you know what you are doing. The on-camera flash is nasty though. Apparently some babies and small children don't like flash but I have never had a bad reaction from a baby or child when it comes to flash - I always bounce the flash with the head pointed away from the child. Perhaps I've just been lucky.

For some of my family photos using 20D & 17-85 & 28 f1.8 see my flickr site:

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